Most sales "training" is a waste of time

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Fri, Feb 21, 2020

Good morning!  looks like a great Friday coming into a sunny weekend!

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Tags: sales planning meetings, sales forecasting, Sales Hiring & Onboarding, sales management plans, sales effectivness, sales motivation, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans, sales readiness

Workin' hard into February

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Feb 08, 2020

As I write this on a 14-degree sunny Saturday morning, I'm just in from snowblowing deep in the woods of Winhall (or Bondville) Vermont (pop.647).  Known by the State of Vermont, the town of Winhall is-according to the Feds-also the village of Winhall in the town Bondville.  Or maybe it's the other way around. Hard to figure.   

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Tags: sales leadership, sales success, Sales Hiring Perfectly, sales management plans, sales management productivity, selling trust, sales motivation, writing sales plans, sales readiness

Want more customers?  Maybe a great job?  All about your connections!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Jan 21, 2020

Already deep into January....

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Tags: sales planning meetings, sales leadership, sales management plans, sales effectivness, sales motivation, 2020 business plans, 2020 sales plans, writing sales plans

End of the Year- "Git-R-Done"

Jack and Tufts Entrepreneurship Center -1Today, hopefully you're heads down and totally focused on completing the year ahead of plan.  Whether you're in the profession of sales or you're an artist working on delivering the last of the Christmas ornaments, next week is the week when all of the marbles get measured.  Yea, I know...the month doesn't end on the 20th, but for all practical purposes, it really does.  Even if you're planning to work on the 24th and the 30th and 31st, you're going to be very lonely sitting at home talking to no one, so this is the last week to "Git-R-Done!"

As you're lining up calls, connections and closings today while keeping an anxious eye on the disappearing minutes on the clock, keep very focused on just three things:

 

  1. Don't Overthink.  

    Your work today and next week is all about your focus to close deals in five days from today!
    You are not in the business of providing creative strategy or product development solutions for your prospective customer that will impact their business two or three years from now.  You're the solution and business value provider whose company will provide the absolute best products and services that will improve your prospects' 2020 business results by increasing their revenue, their gross profit and their net income.  
  2. Be Human

    With a short countdown till launch of only five days, be human and project your own humanity of  working 10 and 12 hours a day at this time of year to the person on the other side of the table-phone-text-email-videophone.  They're just as stressed as you are and have equally stretched schedules of work, kids, teacher conferences, holiday parties and wicked travel.  Yesterday, it took me two and a half hours just to drive from Logan to the Back Bay...and there were no accidents.  Forget 128/95/495 travel at 7:00 AM or 5:00 PM, but also remember that that's the reality of what happens to your prospect every day.  Be extremely sensitive to that type of reality and assess what it is that you could do personally that would reduce the stress, improve the time efficiency and impact the value that you and your products provide to your buying decision maker?  

    I'm running a two-day business planning session during the first week of January for 16 people.  The real work is the technical stuff related to the prep, the interviews, and the facilitation of the meeting.  I happily volunteered (and was immediately asked to do so) to take care of all of the logistics, hotel and travel reservations, food and everything else freeing up the senior team to focus on closing their year.
  3. Buckle Up

    This is crunch time; it's as simple as that!.  This weekend and the next five days require 100 hours of work, waking up before the kids tomorrow and Sunday and getting in at 7:00 AM and not 8:30 all next week.  
    Do everything you already know how to do and make sure that you're physically and mentally on the top of your game because when it's over, it's over! 
Just a few quick thoughts for this morning. 

Now, get back to work, and have a great day today being remarkable!  

Please stay connected! jack@derbymanagement.com 

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Tags: improving sales productivity, sales planning meetings, sales success, sale management, selling trust, sales motivation, 2020 sales plans

When you're going through hell, what do you do?

In mid-July, I wrote about doing a first half year review, taking score of where you are and re-planning for the second half of the year.  That tactic of the first half review is used in business, in life, in football, and I'm now just suggesting to do it later this week for everyone working in Sales and now facing the critical 4th Quarter.  Very simply, when the 4th Quarter is finished on the 31st of December, it's game over, and the 2019 numbers are posted for all to see on the scoreboard.  No more time, no more timeouts, no more substitutions, no more injured players, no more excuses.  Done!!!

  • True salespeople, women and men, sales execs or BDRs, district managers or CEOs always know exactly where they are in their revenue metrics.  I'm currently in the critical process of signing up partners to the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, and I don't need to have my head of finance remind me where I am...but she does all the time...because she's a strong manager and a critical partner, and at the end of the day, money is money!   Bottom line is that I'm behind, and I now need to double down in effort, add more time to the sales clock and execute on a couple of new short term tactics. 
  • This week, theoretically there's 13 weeks left in the year, but in the cold hard reality of vacations and holidays, there's really nine. Given that, today, as in Monday, the last day of Q3, you should be totally focused on today, and then on Tuesday, as in tomorrow, immediately shift that focus to Q4 and the remaining 50 selling days left in the year.

Congratulations! to those of you who wake up tomorrow morning knowing that you're ahead of the game for the year, that the team is fully balanced, everyone is trained and amped up for the long drive through the rest of the quarter. 

Like the Pats, it's great to be ahead of the pack!

For those of us behind the curve, me included, it's time to change something since whatever it is that we've been doing for the past 270 days or so has not been working that well, and given current course and speed, the simple math says that nothing will change.  As professionals in the science of Sales, we gave up on the "Strategy of Hope" a very long time ago. It doesn't take that many slaps upside the head from past failures to figure out that the "same old, same old" even with a fresh coat of paint, rarely works.  

TIME to Create a New Game Plan

  •  It's the 4th Quarter which brings with it all of the normal issues of competition, focus, pricing discounts
     and the lack of time on the part of everyone on both sides of the buying and selling table.
  • In this particular 4th quarter, add to the lack of time, the confusion about tariffs, the stupidity of both political parties and the brain-dead media rapidly talking the country into a recession.  But, given the buoyancy of the economy, low unemployment, low interest rates and wheelbarrows of cash still parked on the sidelines, there's plenty of buying power left in corporate America... at least for the short term. 
  •  Today announce that you're gathering the team around the table this Friday morning at 7:30 to spend the entire morning walking through every strategy, every tactic, every contingency scenario and every personnel resource you're going to need during the next 53 days of the quarter.  Give assignments out today so that everyone is prepared and everyone has something to present.

And, btw, wherever you are on whichever side of the competitive edge you are on today, it could be a lot worse!  Imagine if you're a senior manager or are on the sales teams of WeWork, Peloton, Boeing or Juul having to rebuild your entire business model and your product plans.

  • I also think back to the readings of my sales coach, SunTzu, who time and again has pulled me out of the sales doldrums and has givin me immediate short and mid-term focus to the tactical job at hand. 
  • Similarly, Eisenhower's response when after learning on that morning of the highly planned invasion of the beaches at Normandy that everything was disastrously falling apart by the hour, he executed a totally revised tactical plan which quickly got the soldiers off the beaches.  Weeks after, he was quoted with "It's not the plan that's important; it's the planning process.".  
  • And it was from those dark early days of the war when Britain stood alone following the invasion of France and the disaster at Dunkirk that Winston Churchill responded with "When you're going through hell, keep going", followed again and again with "Never, never, never give up".  

Things to do this week:

1. Get that Friday morning planning session together with assignments and concise and impactful tactical presentations focused on the remaining 50ish days.  Don't allow anyone to complain about their lack of time, or those big bad competitors, or the problems with tariffs when in fact, it's most probably the lack of small, focused tactical selling plans that's the real problem.

 

2. Focus on geographies at the Friday planning meeting.  With a small number of days left in the year, we need to focus on streets, not states.  There are 31 NFL cities in the U.S.   The cities themselves  account for 10% of the U.S. population.  The "greater" population directly around those cities equals another 25%.  Go where the customers are and the prospects are going to be. Don't waste time exploring new geographies!  

3. Pick your critical metrics and communicate them every week  Next week institute 30 minute team calls every Monday morning at 7:30, and at the end a day midweek-either Wednesday or Thursday-to discover on a peer-to-peer basis-what tactics worked and the results that came from them.   

Have a great day selling today !

Please stay connected!

Advisor, Derby Management, experts in-
-Sales & Marketing Productivity
-Business and Strategic Planning
WHAT WE DO AT DERBY MANAGEMENT    

Director, TEC-Tufts Entrepreneurship Center
Cummings Family Chair Professor of Entrepreneurship
Spark-Incubate-Accelerate@Tufts
Come to our Events

2019 $100K New Ventures
Cell:  617-504-4222 jack.derby@tufts.edu



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Tags: sales planning meeting, sales leadership, sales management productivity, sales motivation

Ideas for Managing Change this Fall

Change is in the air, and it's everywhere !

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Tags: closing sales, best sales practices;, sales effectivness, Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales motivation

Nothing ! gets better by itself...

 

"They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself"


...Andy Warhol

 


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Tags: price waterhouse coopers, student intern marketing projects, sales planning meetings, sales leadership, value propositions, selling trust, sales motivation

Most importantly...we all need to remain curious!!!


20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. 

Catch the trade winds in your sails. 

Explore! Dream! Discover!

   ...Mark Twain


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Tags: sales boot camp, sales management boot camps, Tufts marketing projects, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales management productivity, creating trust in sales, Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales motivation

Jump Off ! Don't Look Down!  Plan! Push & Measure!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Sat, Mar 09, 2019

It's the beginning of March, and we all know what March is good for !

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Tags: sales management boot camp, how to write a business plan, writing a business plan, business planning meetings, Making Tough Choices, jack derby professor at Tufts, sales effectivness, sales motivation, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Old School, New School? Any School Right Now!

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, Dec 11, 2018

Being a disciple of the high priests of David Meerman Scott, the guys at Hubspot and the gurus of Jamie Turner, Mike Troiano, Dan Tyre and Mike Volpe over the past decade, I'm an Inbound Marketing kind of guy!.  

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Tags: testimonial, Tufts internships, interns for marketing projects, inbound, sales management productivity, creating trust in sales, Tufts Entrepreneurship, sales motivation, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center